Turn, Turn

‘Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be free, ’tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ’twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain’d, to bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,

To turn, turn, shall be our delight, ’til by turning, turning we come ’round right.

These words flow into my mind like a prayer; like a brook flowing through my mind, bringing peace to my heart. I give thanks to God for the gift of my mother; a mom who simply loved me. A mom who made sure I came ’round right. A mom who I shall surely meet again in the valley of love and delight. Thank you, Lord.

Bigger Picture Blogs

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Words Cannot Express {Simple Moment, Bigger Picture}

I have heard through the grapevine that a college acquaintance of mine has started the journey; the healing path toward remission from breast cancer. On a mutual friend’s Facebook wall, she wrote about leg hair. That’s right; LEG HAIR! I remember telling others that while my head was bald, I still had to shave my legs. GAH! But eventually, the chemo made even that stubborn leg hair fall out.

I am grateful for the healing I received.
For the hair brushing my cheeks.
For the hair bristling on my legs.
(Yes, I am even grateful for the need to shave!)
I am grateful for the doctors I continue to see.
For the words I heard just this month, “Your labs look fine.”
I am grateful, so grateful, for the forty-two years God has given me;
For my husband and daughters; there are not words enough to express my love for them.
But yet, in the pit of me, a ball of fear reigns, like a tightly wound ball of yarn.
Panic’s claws threaten to unravel the ball; to pick at it; to make it–and me–come undone.
Fear’s tendrils weave through my body, threatening to stop me in my tracks.
With God’s help, those tendrils of fear dissolve. Words cannot express His love for me.
He gently winds that fear back up into a ball and weaves the fear away.
He was with me through my diagnosis and healing;
He will be with me at the end.
Fear has no hold on me.
He is with us now.
And I am thankful.

Bigger Picture Moments this month are all about Gratitude. Visit Sarah at This Heavenly Life  for more thoughts about thankfulness.

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When the Air is Delicious {Simple Moment, Bigger Picture}

In photography, there is a moment of time called “the Golden hour”. Those moments in time, when the sun is at the perfect height on the horizon, to provide soft and glowing light for the perfect shot. The word “hour” is not an accurate time of this golden shooting period; it may last for a while or it may be fleeting.

Walking home in the late afternoon one day, I was struck by the dark clouds overhead. The sun shone from the west, its rays lighting up fall leaves at the tops of the trees. The smell of rain was in the air, and yet the sunshine made the colors of the trees brilliant.  The clouds loomed dark and ominously overhead behind all that brightness. The air was still. It was raining somewhere.

What a glorious golden hour.

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In Her OWN Time {Simple Moment, Bigger Picture}

Last Sunday, Ed and I watched IN AMAZEMENT as Emmy stooped down to pet the black and white cat lying in the grass. Not only did she pet Kit-Kat, her aunt and uncle’s cat, but she knelt down next to the cat and positively stroked her fur again and again.

This from a child who has been scared of living animals since birth. When she was a baby, Emmy would cry if Kit-Kat looked at us through the picture window. That thin layer of glass wasn’t enough to protect her from the black cat.

If we were taking a walk and she was in her stroller, we would have to cross the street if a dog approached. When Emmy was walking, I would have to pick her up as soon as she saw a dog. Dog owners would try to sway her over, telling her their dog was really friendly and wouldn’t hurt anyone. I knew better than to say anything; Emmy would not be persuaded.

Emmy needed to decide in her own time that cats and dogs aren’t scary. Nothing we told her was going to push her into liking them. They were bigger than her (dogs) and showed her sharp teeth (Kit-Kat). In her mind, there was no reason NOT to be afraid of them.

She wasn’t about to cave into peer pressure. She wasn’t going to stroke a dog’s fur just because other people told her to. She knew her own mind, and knew she wasn’t ready to pet cats or dogs yet. Slowly, carefully, she made the decision for herself, and when she was ready, she went up to Kit-Kat and petted her. When we see a dog coming, she doesn’t beg me to pick her up anymore. She is still very cautious with dogs. I view this as a good thing. We have also told our children not to pet a dog without asking the owner.

Yes, Emmy is stubborn, but I view this stubbornness as a good trait. I’m hoping as she grows, she’ll make up her own mind and be smart about her decisions instead of bowing into peer pressure. I won’t always be around to pick her up when the dogs come around.

I think she’ll do just fine!

Simple BPM

Linking up with Melissa – Peanut Butter in my Hair today!

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Singing Praises {Simple Moments, Bigger Picture}

Yesterday was the definition of a blustery day. It was rainy and windy and COLD. I had spent the day running here and there; I dropped off Lily and Emmy at their respective schools, I went to my MOPS meeting, I ran errands and picked up Emmy from a playdate. When evening finally came and I had made dinner, the girls were settling down for bed. The last thing I wanted to do was go back outside. However, I had one more obligation left.

I rushed to fill the dishwasher, throw the unfolded laundry off my bed and back into a basket in case I got home late, and put pajamas on Emmy. I smoothed out their unmade beds, which in our morning rush we rarely make. I laid out pajamas for Lily, who was reading with her daddy.

Emmy trailed behind me as I gathered together my shoes, purse and coat. “But I don’t want you to go, Mommy!” Deep inside, I didn’t want to go, either. I gave her a big hug and a kiss.

Gently pushing her toward Ed, I said, “Go read a book with Daddy,” and gave Lily her hug and kiss.

I drove toward church, almost hypnotized by the radio and the drizzling rain. I was tired and really didn’t want to be out and about again.

As I opened the door to the back of the building, I could hear the choir rehearsing already. They finished singing the hymn as I sat down in my spot. Our director stood up and taught us a breathing technique he learned at a conference. “Breath down low,” he said. As I drew in a breath, I felt pinpricks of pain all over my upper body from all the stress I was holding in. They made me not want to breath at all.

But slowly, carefully, I began to take slow, deep breaths and the pinpricks slowly started to ease.

We started to rehearse in earnest, first and second sopranos blending together, then adding altos, tenors and basses. The pinpricks were disappearing.

“Take out your Bach books,” our director said.

Bach. I love singing Bach!

Jesus, priceless treasure, source of purest pleasure, truest friend to me!

Our voices raised, harmonies flowed, and our praises lifted up above us, along with the last of my aches and pains.

When rehearsal was over, the blustery day had turned into a blustery night. As I drove home, pop songs were playing on the radio. After singing such joyous, praise-filled music, the stuff on the radio seemed lifeless and trite. But that didn’t matter. My heart was full and light again, and I was looking forward to coming home to my husband and kissing my children in their beds.

Simple BPM

Click here to hear the melody to “Jesus, Priceless Treasure.”

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